Review: Number Please, Paprichoo, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, By Hannah Goslin

2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

Think back to the Agatha Christies. Miss Marple, Poirot. Think even to the extent of Sherlock Holmes. These crime stories, full of mystery and far fetched narratives. Number Please felt very reminiscent of these.

When a telephone operator hears a murder on the telephone, she is dragged into a world of secrecy, double crossing and spies. Enter train chases, over the top character’s, and London (because a murder always happens in London and alien invasion, but that is Doctor Who and off topic).

This female lead company came to bring us fun, frivolities and intrigue. And they execute some of this. I am glad that it was meant to be ‘hammed up’ as the characters seemed quite one dimensional, and my worry was for the stereotyping of women. Saving this, the 1950’s styled era saw a strong female lead, solving the murder and uncovering the mystery.

While I had a lot of fun and enjoyed their performance, I could not help but wonder whether it was meant to be unintentionally of an amateur persuasion or whether this was the point; a metta/ironic take on the absurdity and predictability of these genres.

What cannot be argued is that the performers put their all into their performances. Every facial expression was executed, every pun and the fact they high-kneed ran for a good 5 minutes non stop is something to be admired.

Number Please is a fun, easy going, easy watching show. If you want to just sit back and have a little giggle, this is for you.

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